190 voters

The Best Musical Artists From South Carolina

Updated May 10, 2019 2.3k votes 190 voters 9.2k views101 items

List RulesOnly artists born or raised in South Carolina or bands formed in South Carolina.

Here are the best artists and bands from South Carolina. Particularly known for its influences in the bluegrass, country, R&B, rock, and jazz genres, the Palmetto State has produced a number of memorable acts over the decades. It is also the birthplace of beach music, so if you have ever boogied while hanging out with your friends on the shoreline, then you can thank South Carolina. The best musical artists from South Carolina come from all over the state, but they have all entertained audiences with their talent. 

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was born in Barnwell but later moved to Georgia when he was still a child. South Carolina is also the state where Hootie & the Blowfish. Singer Darius Rucker and lead guitarist Mark Bryan met when they attended the University of South Carolina. Many bands have similar stories, and some other big bands that got their start in the state include Band of Horses, Crossfade, and The Marshall Tucker Band. Other popular South Carolina artists include Eartha Kitt, Jeezy, Carolina Liar, and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty.

Have you ever thought about who the most famous musical artists from South Carolina are? You will definitely see some big names on this list that come from a range of decades. After you read through them, vote for the singers and bands you like best. 

  • James Brown1

    James Brown

    Hip hop music, Doo-wop

    AlbumsLive at the Apollo, Star Time, Funky Christmas, Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You

    James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More James Brown 

    The Best James Brown Albums of All Time#1483 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

  • The Marshall Tucker Band2

    The Marshall Tucker Band

    Rock music, Country rock

    AlbumsCarolina Christmas, Where We All Belong, Beyond the Horizon, The Marshall Tucker Band, Searchin' for a Rainbow

    The Marshall Tucker Band is an American rock band from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Noted for...  more

    More The Marshall Tucker Band 

    The Best Marshall Tucker Band Albums of All Time#143 of 355 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • Darius Rucker3

    Darius Rucker

    Rock music, Rhythm and blues

    AlbumsCharleston, SC 1966, Back to Then, True Believers, Learn to Live

    Darius Carlos Rucker (born May 13, 1966) is an American singer and songwriter. He first gained...  more

    More Darius Rucker 

    The Best Darius Rucker Solo Albums, Ranked#113 of 739 The Best Singers of All Time

  • Hootie & the Blowfish4

    Hootie & the Blowfish

    Jangle pop, Heartland rock

    AlbumsCracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish, Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Kootchypop

    "Hootie" is a nickname for the following people: Hootie Ingram (born 1933), former Clemson...  more

    More Hootie & the Blowfish 

    The Best Hootie & The Blowfish Albums of All-Time#685 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time

  • Chubby Checker5

    Chubby Checker

    Rock music, Rock and roll

    AlbumsThe Best of Chubby Checker: Cameo Parkway 1959-1963, You Just Don't Know (What You Did to Me) / Two Hearts, Rosie / Lazy Elsie Molly, 20 Twistin' Hits, Limbo Rock / Let's Limbo Some More

    Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans; October 3, 1941) is an American rock 'n roll singer and...  more

    More Chubby Checker 

    #201 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#134 of 196 The Greatest Male Pop Singers of All Time

  • Dizzy Gillespie6

    Dizzy Gillespie

    Afro-Cuban jazz, Jazz

    AlbumsNight in Tunisia, The Trumpet Summit Meets the Oscar Peterson Big Four, Jazz at Massey Hall, Sonny Side Up, Giants of Jazz

    John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz...  more

    More Dizzy Gillespie 

    The Best Dizzy Gillespie Albums of All Time#811 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

  • Eartha Kitt7

    Eartha Kitt

    Torch song, Cabaret

    AlbumsThat Bad Eartha, My Heart Belongs to Daddy, Purr-fect: Greatest Hits, I Love Men, Purrfect: The Ultimate Collection

    Eartha Kitt (born Eartha Mae Keith, January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American...  more

    More Eartha Kitt 

    #149 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#136 of 193 Rock Stars Whose Deaths Were The Most Untimely

  • Edwin McCain8

    Edwin McCain

    Rock music, Alternative rock

    AlbumsMisguided Roses, Messenger, The Austin Sessions, Honor Among Thieves, Far From Over

    Edwin McCain (born January 20, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter and musician. His songs...  more
  • Band of Horses9

    Band of Horses

    Rock music, Alternative country

    AlbumsEverything All the Time, Cease to Begin, Mirage Rock, Tour EP, Infinite Arms

    Band of Horses is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band...  more

    More Band of Horses 

    The Best Band Of Horses Songs#63 of 254 The Best Bands With Animal Names

  • Needtobreathe10


    Christian alternative rock, Rock music

    AlbumsThe Heat, Daylight, Rivers in the Wasteland, The Outsiders, Live Horses EP

    Needtobreathe is an American Christian rock band from Seneca, South Carolina. The band is...  more

    More Needtobreathe 

    #3 of 86 The Best Christian Alternative Rock Bands#18 of 408 The Best Contemporary Christian Artists

  • Jeezy11


    Hip hop music, Gangsta rap

    AlbumsLet's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, The Inspiration, The Recession, Thug Motivation 103: Hustlerz Ambition, Hood Politics

    Jay Wayne Jenkins (born September 28, 1977), known professionally as Jeezy (formerly Young...  more

    More Jeezy 

    The Best Songs Feat. Young Jeezy#9 of 70 The Complete List of Rappers Who've Been in Prison

  • Aaron Tippin12

    AlbumsCall of the Wild, Read Between the Lines, What This Country Needs, You've Got to Stand for Something, Tool Box

    Aaron Dupree Tippin (born July 3, 1958) is an American country music artist and record...  more

    More Aaron Tippin 

    #156 of 291 The Top Country Artists of All Time#26 of 45 The Best Country Singers with Deep Voices

  • Toro y Moi13

    Toro y Moi

    Indie pop, Synthpop

    AlbumsAnything in Return, June 2009, Underneath the Pine, Causers of This, FACT Mix 219: Toro y Moi

    Chaz Bear (born Chazwick Bradley Bundick; November 7, 1986), known professionally as Toro y...  more
  • Rob Thomas14

    Rob Thomas

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul

    Albums...Something to Be, A New York Christmas, Cradlesong, ...Something More, This Is How a Heart Breaks

    Robert Kelly Thomas (born February 14, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter, record...  more

    More Rob Thomas 

    The Best Rob Thomas Solo Albums, Ranked#160 of 225 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters

  • Crossfade15


    Rock music, Heavy metal

    AlbumsCrossfade, Falling Away, We All Bleed, Cold, Colors

    Crossfade is an American rock band originating from Columbia, South Carolina. Their current...  more
  • Peabo Bryson16

    Peabo Bryson

    Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music

    AlbumsBorn To Love, A Whole New World, Through the Fire, Straight From the Heart, Anthology

    Peabo Bryson (born Robert Peapo Bryson; April 13, 1951, given name changed from "Peapo " to...  more
  • Jump, Little Children17

    Jump, Little Children

    Indie rock, Baroque pop

    AlbumsVertigo, Magazine, The Licorice Tea Demos, Between the Dim and the Dark, Buzz

    Jump, Little Children was a band formed in 1991 in the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina....  more
  • Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones18

    Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones

    The Sparkletones were an American rock and roll/rockabilly group from Spartanburg, South...  more
  • Iron & Wine19

    Iron & Wine

    Folk music, Folk rock

    AlbumsThe Shepherd's Dog, The Creek Drank the Cradle, Our Endless Numbered Days, Kiss Each Other Clean, In the Reins

    Iron () is a chemical element with symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is...  more

    More Iron & Wine 

    The Best Iron & Wine Albums of All Time#121 of 179 The Best Bands That Are Named After Foods

  • Carolina Liar20

    Carolina Liar

    Pop music, Rock music

    AlbumsComing to Terms, Wild Blessed Freedom, Drown

    Carolina Liar is an American alternative rock band. Lead vocalist Chad Wolf is originally from...  more
  • Lee Brice21

    Lee Brice


    AlbumsHard 2 Love, Love Like Crazy, A Woman Like You, I Don't Dance (Single), Hard to Love

    Lee Brice (born Kenneth Mobley Brice, Jr., June 10, 1979) is an American country music singer...  more

    More Lee Brice 

    #71 of 186 The Best Male Country Singers of All Time#22 of 38 The Best Bro Country Bands/Artists

  • Angie Stone22

    Angie Stone

    Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

    AlbumsA Gangster and a Gentleman, The Id, Instant Vintage, Jazzmatazz, Vol. 3: Streetsoul

    Angie Stone (born Angela Laverne Brown; December 18, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter,...  more

    More Angie Stone 

    The Best Angie Stone Songs#163 of 252 The Greatest R&B Artists and Bands of All Time

  • David Ball23

    David Ball


    AlbumsThinkin' Problem, Play, Amigo, Starlite Lounge, David Ball

    David Ball (born July 9, 1953) is an American country music singer-songwriter and musician....  more
  • Gus Aiken24

    Gus Aiken

    Augustus "Gus" Aiken (July 26, 1902 in Charleston, South Carolina – April 1, 1973 in New York...  more
  • Arthur Smith25
    Arthur Smith (April 1, 1921 – April 3, 2014) was an American musician, songwriter, and...  more